Nutrition News Bites- March 7th, 2011

by Rachel Perez

Stomach pacemaker could be new weight loss tool for obese adults

Early clinical trials report on the surgically implanted stomach pacemaker, a new weight loss device that issues electrical pulses to trick the stomach and brain into thinking the body is full.  Manufactured by Intrapace, the pacemaker is approved for clinical trials in the EU, and may be  available in the US come 2014.  How does it work? Watch video here.

Feature: Feeding the World, a special report from The Economist

The Economist investigates the imminent dangers and possible solutions of the future of food, as the world’s population grows to 9 billion from 7 billion by 2050.

USDA increases funds to fight childhood obesity in schools

Last Wednesday the USDA said they will put up $5.5 million dollars to encourage school districts to join the HealthierUS School Challenge, an initiative focusing on nutritious school meals and school physical activity programs.  Michelle Obama aims to double the number of participating schools in 2011, and add 1,000 new schools per year over the next two years.

Body Adiposity Index (BAI) may be new obesity scale to replace BMI

Body Adiposity Index, a measure of obesity using height and hip ratios, may be an alternative to the commonly used Body Mass Index (BMI), which is based on weight and height.  Published last week in Obesity, a study tested BAI accuracy in American-Mexican adults. “It remains to be seen if the BAI is a more useful predictor of health outcome, in both males and females, than other indexes of body adiposity, including the BMI itself,” the study authors wrote.

Study: Soda and sugarsweetened beverages associated with higher blood pressure in adults

A new study in Hypertension analyzed diet data in 2,696 adults, and found that for every extra soda or fruit drink per day, adults had increased systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure by 1.6 and 0.8 mm Hg respectively.  Blood pressure was also higher in adults who ate more salt along with sugar-sweetened beverages.  “This is a population study. It’s one piece of the evidence in a jigsaw puzzle that needs to be completed,” Ian Brown, Ph.D, one of the researchers cautions.  “In the meantime, people who want to drink sugar-sweetened beverages should do so only in moderation.”

Protest march in Boston urges more pay for tomato farmers

Nearly one week ago, Boston locals marched in protest with 60 Florida farm workers affiliated with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers; they aimed to pressure Stop & Shop into paying one cent more to farm workers for every pound of tomatoes harvested.  Suzi Robinson, a spokeswoman for Stop & Shop, said “It is not our place to enter into direct wage negotiations with employees of our suppliers.”  Read the opinion piece in The Atlantic.

Color your plate! March is National Nutrition Month

March is National Nutrition Month, an annual celebration of the American Dietetic Association.  This year’s slogan is “Eat Right With Color,” a tribute to both the nutrient density of darkly colored foods and an emphasis of eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats.

Google launches new recipe search function

Last Thursday Google added a new recipe search function, enabling users to sift through online recipes according to ratings, ingredients, pictures, calories, cook time, or food type.  Searchers can also plug in special occasions such as Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day to find appropriate recipes. To get to the recipe view, click on the “Recipes” link in the left-hand panel when searching for a recipe.

Rachel Perez is a second year Nutrition Communications student.  Feel free to email her at rachel.perez@tufts.edu with feedback or any nutrition nibbles you might find!

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